Only You Can Prevent The Spearfish Canyon Public Land “Exchange” – Tuesday, February 7th, 2017


South Dakota Land Grab – Just Say No!

Stop SD Senate Bill 114 – Join us to oppose the State of South Dakota’s attempt to seize Black Hills National Forest lands in Spearfish Canyon and Bismarck Lake, $21 million and 1,400 acres of your wild land heritage.  Keep your Black Hills National Forest in your hands.

Join us Tuesday evening, February 7 at 7:00pm at Journey Museum & Learning Center, 222 New York Street, Rapid City, SD 57730. Please arrive early enough to sign in and sign up to comment.  Speakers are limited to three minutes. Comments will be provided to the South Dakota Governor’s Office, the South Dakota Legislature, the SD Parks Department, the Federal delegation, and the news media. Please arrive early enough to sign in and sign up to comment.  Speakers are limited to three minutes. Comments will be provided to the South Dakota Governor’s Office, the South Dakota Legislature, the SD Parks Department, the Federal delegation, and the news media.

Photo: Paul Horsted

This event is posted on Facebook at Spearfish Canyon Bismarck Lake Land Grab – Just Say No!  Please sign up and let us know you are coming. Email


“Cardboard Chaos” an Interactive Creative Makerspace to open in Spearfish

Photo: The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center

SPEARFISH, SD – The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center, through the work of ArtCentral, will host Cardboard Chaos, an interactive creative makerspace for all ages, in the Matthews’ Art Gallery.

Cardboard Chaos will have an opening event at 3-5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 3, in the art gallery. Normal hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from February 4-25. The event is free and open to everyone.

Cardboard Chaos is an interactive creative makerspace where children and adults can delve into their imaginations to construct artwork, invent toys, and build play areas out of cardboard. Cardboard, tools, and an assortment of other materials to unleash creativity will be provided. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center was selected in 2016 as a recipient of a $200,000 Bush Foundation Community Innovation grant for ArtCentral, a community collaboration to centralize the arts as an integrated asset for inclusivity, economic development, and sustained outreach in the Spearfish community. Community Innovation grants support organizations, working in collaboration with others, to use problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions for challenges that face their communities.

“I am so excited for this project,” said Kate Kelley, Cardboard Chaos committee chair. “This will be a fun place for people to come and use their imaginations by creating whatever they want using cardboard and simple craft tools. It is the first project to come out of ArtCentral, which is funded by a Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation. If Cardboard Chaos is well-received, then we hope to offer this event in other locations for our community to enjoy during winter months.”

“The ArtCentral Committee has been working hard over the last several months. It is great to see our discussions transition into actions,” said Elizabeth Freer, ArtCentral Manager. “This project is just the beginning of our work and I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact of the arts on our community.” Cardboard Chaos is funded through a Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation. Donated materials and volunteer time from local community members are also key to the success of this project.

About the Bush Foundation
The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. We encourage individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. Since it was established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, the Foundation has invested nearly one billion dollars in grants to thousands of organizations and individuals. Website:

The next event for The Matthews is the comedy-drama play, “Steel Magnolias,” Feb. 16-19. For additional information or to learn about upcoming events, visit

THE MATTHEWS Brings Comedy-Drama “Steel Magnolias” To The Stage

Cast L-R: Mikayla Lemaster, Pat Rogge, Sydney Bridgeport, Alexandra Schoenberner, Amy Ruff, Deb Brunette. Photo: supplied by The Matthews

January 23, 2017

SPEARFISH, SD – Warm your insides with laughter and tears this cold February in Spearfish. The ensemble cast of talented Black Hills’ actors takes The Matthews’ stage, Feb. 16-19. The play is directed by Joanna Mechaley. The Thursday-Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday show is at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are now on sale for $15 adults, $10 subscribers, and $5 youth (18 and under) and BHSU students. Tickets are available at The Matthews’ art gallery during business hours, Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or by phone at 605-642-7973. Buy tickets online anytime at

The cast is comprised of Amy Ruff as Truvy, Mikayla Lemaster as Annelle, Sydney Bridgeport as Clairee, Alexandria Schoenberner as Shelby, Deb Brunette as M’Lynn, and Pat Rogge as Ouiser.

The play opens with a discussion of Shelby’s wedding day to her fiancé, Jackson, in the fictional northwestern Louisiana parish of Chinquapin at Truvy’s in-home beauty parlor where the women regularly gather.

It covers events over the next three years with Shelby’s Type 1 diabetes and how the women interact at times with conflict, but in the end resolved as friends. Although the main storyline involves Shelby, her mother M’Lynn, and Shelby’s medical battles, the underlying group-friendship among all six women is prominent throughout the drama.

Director, Joanna Mechaley remarks, “’This is a show that is both heartbreaking and side-achingly funny. “Steel Magnolias” has become an iconic portrait of women and the bonds they form with each other.”

“It has been such a privilege to work with this cast of women. Each of them has woven a bit of themselves with a dash of the only-imagined to create, beyond expectation, a cast of characters that is endearing and amusing and all-together familiar,” continues Mechaley.

The next event for The Matthews is the inaugural concert of the Club Matthews Jazz Sessions series, by JAS Quintet at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Mar. 2. For additional information or to learn about upcoming events, visit

“Steel Magnolias” is a 1987 stage play by American writer, Robert Harling, based on his experience with his sister’s death in 1985. The play is a comedy–drama about the bond amongst a group of Southern women in northwest Louisiana. The title suggests the “female characters are as delicate as magnolias, but as tough as steel.” The magnolia specifically references a magnolia tree they are arguing about at the beginning.

Who Moves a Tech Company from Seattle to Spearfish?

January 5, 2016

Spearfish, SD – In the summer of 2015, Camp Native, located in Seattle, WA, graduated from 9Mile Labs, a B2B Technology accelerator, and was in the midst of completing a seed round.

Founder and CEO, David Woodbury, had the idea of building Camp Native (a marketplace for finding and reserving accommodations for your next outdoor adventure), in a community that embraced the outdoors.

Camp Native moved their operations from the robust tech ecosystem of Seattle, WA, to a small rural town in South Dakota called Spearfish. Here is how it happened and what has transpired.

Woodbury knew Spearfish, SD, to be a beautiful town of just over 10,000 population on the northern edge of the Black Hills. Spearfish had made several top ten lists from sites like National Geographic and Outside Online. When you combine that with the business friendly tax laws of the State of South Dakota and lower cost of operations, Woodbury thought it was worth looking into.

It started with an email.

Woodbury went to the Spearfish Economic Development (SEDC) Website and emailed the executive director, Bryan Walker, suggesting he was interested in moving the company to Spearfish. Walker responded quickly with some skepticism but obvious interest.

Who moves a tech company from Seattle to Spearfish?

Woodbury and Walker scheduled a call and Woodbury expressed his interest in moving the company, inquired if SEDC could do anything to assist him, and discussed funding relationships that might exist within the region.

Walker connected Woodbury with an Angel fund in Rapid City, SD, and brought the idea of bringing Camp Native to Spearfish to his board. After completing the pitches and a couple of months of negotiations, SEDC made an offer to provide funding for furniture and fixtures to set up an office. On top of that, the Angel fund in Rapid City made an investment as well as a local Angel investor in Spearfish. This was enough for Woodbury to make the leap, and in October 2015, he moved across the country to Spearfish.

It’s been a year since he made the move and he couldn’t be happier. When he’s not working at Camp Native’s HQ — a 3,500 sq ft office space in a historic building on Main St. downtown Spearfish — you can find him mountain biking in the hills, skiing Terry Peak, or enjoying a brew at Crow Peak Brewery.

On any given day at the Camp Native HQ there are 10 total employees working diligently to on board and assist properties with utilizing their growing platform. You can recognize the office by the handful of bicycles parked out front, since most employees choose to commute to work by bicycle. The office is reminiscent of any tech company with ping pong, an open floor plan, and plenty of beer in the fridge. It’s got an energy that draws you in.

But has it been successful?

Camp Native is the fastest growing recreational property reservation platform on the planet. They have signed over 600 properties in less than a year of sales efforts. Woodbury says, “In less than a year we’ve signed more reservable properties to our platform than is offered by KOA who’s been in business for 56 years.” They are disrupting a billion dollar industry from a sleepy little mountain town in South Dakota.

Woodbury is proud of what they’ve accomplished in their first year, “We came in and did things different from the start, we knew what the going rate was for sales personnel in this community and we chose to pay 30% higher base salaries. We offered benefits such as health insurance bonus, gym memberships, and unlimited vacation. As a result, we have an amazing core team, 0% turnover, and advocates of our business across the community. We also make sure to get out as a team and support community events.” With reduced costs of operations the Camp Native team is able to get out and become involved with unique experiences. Woodbury recently took the entire team to the Outdoor Hospitality Conference in Fort Worth, TX, to celebrate their one year anniversary.

Woodbury hasn’t stopped with Camp Native. He’s helped develop another tech startup in the community by supporting another entrepreneur on the technology side as well as launching a digital marketing agency. He’s even moved a key executive from Miami to Spearfish, and is assisting in launching an Angel fund in town. He says, “In Seattle, I’m just another entrepreneur trying to build a company. In Spearfish, we are rock stars, but more importantly we can have an impact on this community and I can see and feel tangible evidence of that.”

“Camp Native is still an early stage business, but many in the community view it as already successful. Camp Native has come in and provided a new way of doing things, they treat their people well, and they are invested in the community. Spearfish Economic Development took a risk when they committed funds to bring a pre-revenue tech startup to Spearfish, but so far it’s paying huge dividends.” – Steffanie Salazar SEDC Executive Director

Although technology can bridge geographic gaps, challenges still exist with operating a tech startup in a small town. Woodbury says that the biggest challenges are access to capital, and a major airport. Woodbury does most of the fundraising for Camp Native outside of South Dakota so it can be costly and time consuming to get in front of the right investors. Even so, it can be done using platforms like Gust, Angel List, LinkedIn, and F6S. At the end of the day, Woodbury believes that the pros far outweigh the cons and he’s glad he made the move both from a personal and professional standpoint.

Story Source: Sqoop 

THE MATTHEWS Continues its 2016-17 Season With The Ennis Sisters Live Concert

The Matthews is honored to have The Ennis Sisters perform live on its stage at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.

SPEARFISH, SD –  The Matthews hosts Newfoundland band, The Ennis Sisters, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. This is the third event in the 2016-17 Subscription Series season at the opera house. Individual tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for youth (18 and under) and BHSU students. Buy tickets at The Matthews’ art gallery during business hours, Mon.-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or by phone at 605-642-7973. Tickets are available online anytime at

“This talented and engaging trio is the perfect antidote to a cold, dark January evening. They bring style and substance to their genre of music – and step-dancing is an added plus! Come and enjoy Irish Newfoundland music at its best,” remarks Sian Young, executive director of The Matthews.

Comprised of Maureen, Teresa, and Karen Ennis, The Ennis Sisters are world-renowned

performers whose inspirational sibling harmonies, humorous recitations, Irish step dancing, and engaging stage rapport lift spirits and warm hearts.

The Ennis Sisters were born and raised on Irish Newfoundland tunes. Their father is a traditional button accordion player, and mother grew up on the southern shore of the Avalon, surrounded by music. Throughout the Ennis Sisters’ childhood, if their parents weren’t making music, it was coming through the radio – particularly the Irish Newfoundland radio shows, which aired on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

“There was just no escaping the Irish Newfoundland, Traditional music growing up,” says Karen. “When we first began singing for an audience, these were the songs we sang. It’s what came easiest and most natural, and still does.”

Maureen and Karen have earned a Juno award, a SOCAN award, and multiple ECMA and Music NL awards and nominations. The sisters have also accumulated three gold records along the way. They have performed worldwide, including Australia, the Middle East, Europe, America and Canada. While touring, they’ve shared the stage with widely respected artists such as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mary Black, Jann Arden and the Chieftains.

“Music has always been such a big part of our lives,” says Maureen. “As long as we’re able to maintain the passion that we have for playing live, we’ll continue to produce the kind of music that people expect from us at our shows.


“Take Me Home”:
“Sing you Home”:

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The next event for The Matthews is “Tommy: a Bluegrass Opry” by the Hillbenders on Saturday, Jan. 21. For additional information or to learn about upcoming events, visit


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center is a non-profit organization located at 612 N. Main Street in Spearfish, South Dakota. To learn more about The Matthews either contact by phone, at 605.642.7973 or their website at

THE MATTHEWS OPERA HOUSE AND ARTS CENTER to Host The 38th Annual Winter Art Show,


An all age, all media, art show in The Matthews Art Gallery

December 23, 2016

SPEARFISH, SD –  In its 38th year, The Matthews Art Gallery will play host to the annual Winter Art Show, Jan. 18-26.  The show is open for public viewing during gallery business hours, 10 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. The artist reception and awards ceremony takes place 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19, in the gallery. These events are free and open to the public.

“The Winter Art Show is a community tradition and a chance for artists of all media to be recognized,” according to Mary Deichert, gallery manager at The Matthews. “It is an opportunity to showcase the great talent we have in our area. An added bonus is that many times we find new gallery artists during this show. We encourage artists of all ages to either stop in the gallery to get an application, or go to our website and download the form.”

This popular event is open to any artist, amateur or professional, who wishes to participate. The categories are divided by age ranges from pre-Kindergarten, grade school, high school, through adults. Show registration is not limited to geographical location.

Deichert adds, “This year we have lowered the application fee in several categories in order for more students to be able to submit their work. Even better, we’ve increased the cash prize in the Best of Show and High School categories!”

Cash prizes are awarded to first place in each age category. Other cash awards are Best of Show and People’s Choice. The visiting public are encouraged to cast their votes for their favorite works of art. On the final day of the show, Jan. 26, the People’s Choice award winner will be announced.

The judges for the 38th Winter Art Show are Ann Porter, BHSU art professor; Bonny Fleming, photographer, and Jim Knutson, retired BHSU Art professor.


10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday, Jan. 11-14, in the art gallery. No late entries will be accepted. Winter Art Show applications are available online or in the art gallery during business hours, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The next event at The Matthews is a live concert by The Ennis Sisters on Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. This is a subscription series event. Tickets may be purchased individually at the Matthews Art Gallery or online at For more information or to learn about upcoming events, visit



Interstate 90 Closed From Spearfish to Rapid City White-Out Conditions

Interstate 90 Closed From Spearfish to Rapid City;

Travel Caution Due to Strong Winds and Blowing Snow

RAPID CITY, S.D. – State officials have closed Interstate 90, east and westbound, between Exit 10 at Spearfish and Exit 55 at Rapid City effective immediately on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 29.

Officials with the state Departments of Transportation and Public Safety say at least one multiple vehicle accident, along with white-out conditions with zero to near zero visibility, icy roads and drifting snow are making safe travel almost impossible along this stretch of I-90.

That segment of Interstate will remain closed until conditions improve and crews are able to clear the roadway.  Snow and strong winds are not expected to die down until later in the day on Wednesday and it will take time to clear the roadway.

Officials are also cautioning drivers in other areas of the state that strong winds of 30-40 mph and gusts up to 50 mph are making travel extremely difficult, especially for semi-trucks and other high profile vehicles.

Winter maintenance has been suspended in some areas where it is too dangerous for the plows to be on the roadway. Operations will resume once it is safe to do so.

Officials are asking motorists and semi-truck drivers to consider changing travel plans until conditions improve.

The National Weather Service says a winter storm warning remains in effect through tonight for snow and blowing snow. Travel will be difficult, especially over and near the northern Black Hills on I-90. A high wind warning is in effect for the Rapid City and Hermosa area through this evening for 60 mph wind gusts. A winter weather advisory is in effect for portions of northwest into central parts of the state for snow and blowing snow and travel will be hazardous.

Several “No Travel Advisories” are in effect for various areas of the state. Motorists are encouraged to check conditions at or by dialing 511 before heading out.

Black Hills State University Theatre Opens Fall Season With Michael Weller’s “Moonchildren”

By Kimberly Talcott 

Free Multimedia Presentation – BHSU Will Host Adventure Photographer Tyler Stableford